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Freeman's Mind is a Half-Life machinima made by Ross Scott, who is also the creator of Civil Protection. It is more or less an in character let's play of Half-Life, featuring the thoughts of the character Gordon Freeman (played by Ross), the protagonist of Half-Life. The series has been well received, all videos having high ratings on YouTube, and each episode obtaining at least 300,000 views and some over 1,000,000 views. It is also currently one of Machinima.com's most popular series, the other being "Arby 'n' the Chief." This is due to the large amounts of viewers it attracts, and the ease with which new episodes can be produced. It can be viewed at Ross Scott's website Accursed Farms or on YouTube.
Freeman's Mind can be found at the list of playlists at Machinima's YouTube channel, or at Ross Scott's website www.accursedfarms.com
Title and Ending Song: Military Precision
The first episode came out in December 2007 as an experiment for his side series, Freeman's Mind. It received positive response from viewers and Ross continued it to the second episode and was possibly going to be the last episode of the series due to a lot of work to do. But however, due to positive feedback and several requests for Ross to continue Freeman's Mind, Ross did so and it became an official machinima series.
The series ended on December 31, 2014, after 68 episodes and 3 specials.
On April 1, 2017, the series resumed with Freeman's Mind 2. This follows the same format as the original series, but this time taking place in Half-Life 2. Six episodes have been released since then.
Freeman is somewhat eccentric and ill-tempered, although this isn't to say he isn't very knowledgeable about science and good at his job, as his inner monologues show. He seems to have a cocky, and sometimes extremely frustrated personality. During the series, he often makes sarcastic remarks, and is best described as a "smartass". He also is very egotistical, believing everyone in the facility should be more like him (which is not entirely unjustified, for example many of the people he meets are scientists who talk about donuts during an alien invasion). He also believes everyone in the military to be extremely stupid and incompetent. They don't appear to learn that their MP5's are ineffective against the HEV suit, attempt to pull off an extremely impractical cover up, as Gordon points out, and execute inept combat maneuvers such as running around corners where they know Gordon is waiting with his gun ready. Recently, Gordon has come under the belief they are learning, for example by almost killing him with a grenade. However, he still regards them as stupid "rat-fuck meatheads".
Gordon also appears to have an irrational hatred of Cockroaches, resents Black Mesa's management and architects, and has a very low opinion of string theory physicists.
Despite Freeman's eccentric personality, he actually comes off as sane compared to everyone else in the series, but this has recently started to deteriorate. Initially Gordon was, reasonably, very upset about Black Mesa's insane architecture and the constant attempts on his life. While Gordon was relatively successful at adapting to his situation, by Episode 17 he appears to be having some sort of mental breakdown. Gordon now seems to have become accustomed to killing soldiers and aliens, and in episodes 15 and 22 he even appears to enjoy it. He hates Black Mesa for its constant locked doors, dead ends, and lack of safety standards. He also really hates the "security system" which constantly forces him to traverse deadly obstacles such as tripmines or machine gun turrets. He constantly questions why they even have those turrets. Also, Gordon no longer gets upset at the insane architecture and dead bodies everywhere, as exposure has desensitized him. Despite this, he still maintains an arrogant, 'smartass' demeanor despite his many near-death experiences. The increasing extent to which this behavior exerts itself stems from the fact that Gordon's increasing body count, stunts, and combat feats bolster his already high opinion of himself.
As with any popular internet series, Freeman's Mind has inspired a number of imitations, some of the best known of which are also set in Half-Life games. A collaborative group between the makers of several major Mind Series (including, briefly, Ross Scott himself), called the "MasterMinds", has been making an ongoing podcast series called Mind the Gap since 2011, as well as Out Of Our Mindz, which showcases and satirizes some of the lesser known (and, in most cases, lesser-quality) Mind series.
Freeman's-ish Mind was an unofficial continuation of Freeman's Mind by Jared "Centaur1um" O'Brien set in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It lasted for six episodes before being cancelled. Freeman's personality in the series was similar to that of Scott's version but his voice was noticeably different. Notably he found Alyx extremely irritating, even showing disappointment that she survived the train crash.
Barney's Mind is a machinima series created by Ian Riley (aka IRAMightyPirate). It is an in-character walkthrough of Half-Life: Blue Shift, where Barney Calhoun (played by Ian Riley) makes comedic comments on his surroundings, his enemies, and his constant combat feats. It has the same mechanics as Freeman's Mind. Barney shares many traits with Freeman: he is sarcastic, egotistical, and somewhat violent. Unlike Freeman however, Barney is considerably less intelligent (as evidenced by suggesting to break open a locker door trapping Shephard inside, with a satchel charge), a lot more willing to help the other survivors, and notably has a shorter attention span. He frequently complained about bees, handrails, and ladders. He frequently mentions Gordon and his friendship with him. Although in Freeman's Mind 2, Gordon fails to recognise Barney and even claims it's "not ringing a bell" when Barney re-introduces himself to him. The last two episodes are set in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Shephard's Mind is a machinima series created by Robin Darnell (AKA KrimsinYT) that acts similar in terms of format to Freeman's Mind. The series is a in-character walkthrough Half-Life: Opposing Force, while narrating through the perspective of United States Marine Adrian Shepard as played by Robin Darnell (AKA Krimsin). Throughout the series, Shephard has been portrayed as paranoid, sarcastic, and somewhat cowardly. Also like Freeman, he always gets very mad when being attacked by aliens and enemy soldiers.
Felix's Mind is a Machinima series created by Curtis Trudeau-Brown. Like the other Mind series, he walks through the game, playing the thoughts of the character that the player plays as. However, this series differs from the others, with Felix being created by Curtis instead of the developer of the Half-Life series, Valve. Felix Freeman is a fictional twin brother of Gordon Freeman made by Curtis. In the series' timeline, Felix was mistaken by the G-Man for Gordon due to being twin brothers and was put out of stasis instead, taking over Gordon's role throughout the story in Half-Life 2 and its episodes. Instead of Michael Shapiro's dialogue as Barney Ian Riley's voice dubbed over Michael Shapiro's dialogue.
There are several versions of Chell's Mind available online - the best known version (and considered "canon" in the MasterMind series) is the "CyhAnide" Scaevola version, which depicts Chell as borderline psychotic, frequently suffering paranoid delusions and taking pleasure from setting things on fire, as well as hinting at tak. She also gives her Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device the moniker "ASHPoD" and "talks" to it. Other version's include the Tronnyverse version (which is the only Mind Series so far to feature live-action segments), Chell's Mind 2 by Rychotech (which featured Chell with a male voice), and even Mel's Mind, which has Chell's body inhabited by Aperture employee Mel.
Other Mind series set in the Half-Life Universe
- Freeman's Mind: Source by Rychotech - set in Black Mesa: Source
- Arlen's Mind by SomeoneInExistence - set in Half-Life: Azure Sheep mod
- Sohn's Mind by TheGamingBaconator - set in Half-Life: Residual Life mod
- The Citizen's Mind by TheGentlemansShadow - set in The Citizen series
- Logan's Mind by Dawsonnlego - set in MINERVA
- Declan's Mind by JaSoR122 - this series utilizes several mods during its run, including Half-Life: Black Ops, Far Crab, Half-Life: Times of Trouble and Half-Life: Fate Reversal
- Jimmy's Mind by SwedenSpeedway - also set in The Citizen
- The cheats used by the creator in Freeman's Mind are as follows, keep in mind the exact damage values are unknown, these are just estimates based on what has been seen in the series:
- increase 9mm/MP5 power: sk_plr_dmg_9mm_bullet 20 (must be entered again after every loading point, as well as the other damage increasing cheats)
- increase shotgun power: sk_plr_dmg_buckshot 15
- increase crowbar power: sk_plr_dmg_crowbar 20
- godmode (to make himself invincible for the point of making the series easier to create)
- noclip (used for "pull ups" and other related climbing feats
- bind "insert key here" noclip: How he manages to use noclip without opening the console.
- to holster (put away) weapon: impulse 200
- Freeman constantly makes references to pop culture items such as "The Shining", "Aliens", "Star Wars", "Jurassic Park" and the works of HP Lovecraft.
- The series is presented as an inner monologue that the game's NPCs are unable to hear, meaning that Freeman is not actually speaking his dialogue out loud. Despite this, Freeman's speech is still incomprehensible underwater.
- On May 4, 2013 Ross Scott posted that he had officially "Escaped From Machinima" and started to post the series, beginning with episode 45, on Blip.tv and his own YouTube, chilledsanity.
- The non-canon demo game Half-Life: Uplink is also used as part of the series. It takes up Episodes 58 and 59.